Read excerpts from the interview below.
On people commenting on the sudden step-up in fighting Boko Haram close to the election: It’s out of ignorance. In a political environment, if one party, particularly the ruling party is going to the left, they (opposition) would have to go to the right. They must find something. They must have something to tell the people
On if he is scared of losing the elections: I will not lose the elections.
On the elections being postponed again: I don’t think so. I believe the elections will be conducted as scheduled by INEC that is National elections on the 28th of this month. I don’t see why we should postpone again because I am quite impressed with the successes going on in the north. There is a misunderstanding about the postponement. In 2011 we conducted elections in Nigeria, we had Boko Haram. The fact is that within this period, somehow the level of Boko Haram within this period was quite serious and from all indications and from the signals the security agencies got, people are trying to use them disrupt the elections. In 2011 there were no such signals and if you disrupt the elections in a number of states especially for the presidential elections, it will affect declaration of results. So the security services don’t want to take any chances. They did not tell Nigerians that they must route Boko Haram 100% before the elections could be conducted but they want to degrade Boko Haram to the extent that they would no longer have the kind of strength that they would come out and disrupt the elections. That is the key thing. In terms of taking over our territories, yes we will take over all our territories and very soon there will be no part of Nigeria where they will erect a flag and say this is a Boko Haram territory. That we will do but what I am saying is that even if you do that, that does not mean you are isolated from terror attack. But gradually with improvement in terms of technology and monitoring we will be able to bring it down. When we take over all the territories they are holding, they are becoming weaker, now we will improve our monitoring using superior technologies to monitor their activities, then we will begin to pick them and then of course frustrate their activities. So over the period, it will go. We cannot live with terror. No we can’t. We would stop it
On mishandling Boko Haram: No it is not a question of mishandling. Boko Haram didn’t start with me
On allegations of INEC Chairman possibly being sacked: Except somebody is insinuating that the Chairman has done something wrong. You cannot change an officer, except the person has done something wrong. Government, whether at the federal or state level, president or governor, does not wake up and change somebody, especially somebody like the INEC Chairman, except that person has done something wrong. INEC is a very sensitive body. For me to change INEC Chairman, Nigerians and non-Nigerians will ask questions. So, you cannot wake up and change INEC Chairman. I have never discussed with any person on earth about changing INEC Chairman.
You can watch his interview below.